Accredited Schools & Colleges in Washington

Washington College Guide – What You Need to Know

Best Colleges & Universities in Washington

Washington is a cornerstone of the nation's tech and cultural life. This is the state that birthed Amazon, Microsoft, and Starbucks, all in the same city. Though their founders may have been educated elsewhere, they relied on their local area to provide the talent they need to thrive. Further, since these companies have risen to prominence, they have donated millions to local educational and cultural institutions while employing countless students.

You can take advantage of this economic boon by seeking out the best colleges and universities in Washington. The state offers some of the nation's premier research universities, fantastically eclectic small public colleges, and much more. Plus, if you live in a western state, you may be able to attend a Washington state institution for the in-state tuition. Likewise, Washington students can attend any public college on the West Coast, Hawaii, Alaska, and even states as far inland as North Dakota, at the in-state rate.

While the economy in Seattle has been booming for quite some time, it is poised to spread the wealth to other parts of the state. Spokane has been undergoing strong growth lately, and you'll also find new opportunities around Richland, and Yakima.

What are the most popular bachelor's degrees offered in Washington?

Washington's diverse, growing economy is full of bright, forward-thinking individuals who place a high value on education. When state residents look to the hub of the state's economic growth, Seattle, it's obvious that an excellent academic background is the key to success. As it happens the state is home to some of the top colleges and universities, where you can study pretty much any subject you prefer. Washingtonians, however, have their favorites, and you'll find excellent departments to cater to your intellectual preferences.

Washington has cutting edge departments in these top degree fields:

How Much Can You Make by Having a Degree Washington

$27,040* $37,024* $43,472* $60,996* $72,852* $90,636*

Washington College Tuition Costs Vs Salary Potential

Education is a one-of-a-kind investment. Like all investments, it involves a rather large expenditure. There is no guarantee of a return, yet you cannot grow your portfolio without taking the risk. When you decide to invest in education, you are ultimately investing in yourself and your own abilities. That is part of what makes a bachelor's degree a unique venture. Without an education to help you develop your talents, you might never discover what you are truly capable of. That's partly why colleges require you to take a range of core courses so that you can explore the possibilities. Education is also a unique commodity that nobody can ever take away from you.

However, since you are likely to walk away from graduation with a significant debt load, it's important to take a wise approach to educational costs. First, you want to ensure that you attend a school where your tuition is on in-state rates. As a student in the Western United States, you have a wide range of options. Not only does Washington state offer top-notch institutions, but you can also attend schools in Oregon, California, and many more western states for their in-state tuition. With that variety available, there's little reason to consider a school out of that geographic range.

You can also reduce costs by attending a community college for your first two years of college. There, you can knock out your core curriculum at a reduced cost relative to even an in-state, four-year institution. You could even complete an associate's degree and start work in your field before returning to finish your undergraduate degree.

Finally, you should make a habit of applying to as many grant and scholarship programs as you can each term. Even if you are only awarded a small amount, that is still more money you will never have to repay.

College Cost Analysis - Washington vs National

Average Washington Tuition & Fees at 4 Year Public Schools

In-State Tuition - $9,800

National – $10,000

Out-of-State – $27,100

National – $25,600

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid

Washington chalks up some of the lowest numbers for student financial aid in the United States. Though the deviation from the national norm isn't tremendous, Washington is still ranked 21st in terms of receiving the least financial aid. Where #1 ranked New Mexico receives a total of $604 million, the Evergreen State receives $3,400 million. On the one hand, Washington is taking more federal dollars, but the state is also more populous and more residents seek degrees.

Financial Aid Washington Nationally
Received Federal Grants 34% 37.7%
Average $ per Recipient $10,300 $10,927

* Institutional aid represents grant and scholarship funds directly awarded by a post-secondary institution.
* Financial aid data represents 4-year public and private nonprofit schools only.

College Tuition Costs Vs Salary Potential

Helping You Maximize Your Education Earnings

Washington Colleges Tuition & Fees In State Tuition & Fees Out Of state Books & Supplies Room & Board Campus Room & Board Off Campus Graduation Rate Undergrads Median Salary
University of Washington - Seattle $11,000 $35,500 $800 $12,100 $12,100 84% $57,700
Seattle University $42,900 $42,900 $1,200 $12,100 $12,100 76% $56,500
Gonzaga University $41,300 $41,300 $1,100 $11,600 $11,600 83% $56,100
University of Puget Sound $48,100 $48,100 $1,000 $12,100 $12,100 79% $52,700
Washington State University $11,400 $25,800 $1,000 $11,400 $11,400 65% $50,600
Evergreen State College $7,600 $25,100 $1,000 $9,700 $9,700 55% $33,200
City University of Seattle $16,900 $16,900 $1,100 $10,100 $10,100 33% $46,500
Central Washington University $7,900 $22,000 $1,000 $10,700 $10,700 52% $46,500
Seattle Pacific University $40,900 $40,900 $1,000 $11,200 $11,200 71% $49,100
St. Martin's University $35,700 $35,700 $1,000 $11,000 $9,400 53% $47,800

**Salary after attending is a median salary, your degree and field can affect your median salary.

Best Scholarships for Washington

Everyone wants to shave down their education budget. You can do that in a lot of ways, but one reliable method is to win scholarships and grants. This is money that you won't have to pay back with interest, and which can be an enormous help to any student, no matter how large or small the award. That is, some scholarships will cover your entire tuition, room and board, and even books, but those are rare. More often you'll find scholarships that award around $500. Though that might not seem like much, even small scholarships help in the short term and they then pay off long-term. When you put a scholarship on your resume, employers will be impressed with your initiative and achievement.

  • ASC
  • PCS
  • WSUS


Atlas Shrugged Contest
Amounts: $2,000 (1st Place); $250 (2nd Place); $100 (3rd Place); $25 (Finalists)
Deadline: Varies (Previously April)
While this more of an essay contest than a true scholarship program, the top prize of $2,000 will go towards helping you fund your studies. To win the contest, you must first read and study Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged. Then, the Ayn Rand Institute has a set of three essay prompts/questions to work from. You may need to read additional Rand writings, but fans will find that this adds to their understanding of her particular philosophy.



Pool Cleaner Scholarship
Amounts: $1,500
Deadline: January 30
You will never have to skim leaves out of a pool in order to win this scholarship. However, you will have to write a logical, well-structured, and entertaining essay from one of the provided prompts. This isn't the highest paid scholarship award, but it will certainly stand out on your resume and give your interviewer a fun, interesting question or two.



National Federation of the Blind Scholarship Program
Amounts: $3,000-$12,000
Deadline: March 31
This prestigious scholarship is for visually impaired students with lofty goals. When you become a finalist, the NFB will provide funds to help you attend thier national conference. There, you and other finalists will be screened for the final winner's pool. To apply, be sure that you can prove legal blindness in both eyes, show an outstanding record of academic achievement, and have a number of community service projects to discuss.



KPMG Future Leaders Program
Amounts: $10,000 (Renewable for 4 years)
Deadline: January 31
Women who have top academic achievement and financial need can apply for this highly-sought leadership program. When you win this award, you will be flown to Stanford University where you will meet Condoleeza Rice for a series of leadership seminars as well as golf lessons. After the retreat, you will be paired with a mentor from the program who will work with you until the next retreat. This program does more than offer money for college, it grooms young women for a lifetime of leadership.



Washington State University Scholarships
Amounts: Up to Full Tuition
Deadline: FAFSA & WAFSA Deadlines
WSU students can apply to a number of scholarships that will help them pay for college. In fact, they make it very easy by offering you the WSU scholarship application that casts a wide net for scholarships, you'll need to fill out the FAFSA and WAFSA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) forms, as well, to prove financial need. Some scholarships covered by this wide net include:

  • Cougar Committment: for low-income Washington residents
  • National Merit Scholarship: you will need a special recommendation for this award
  • Regents Scholars Program: for Washington's best high school students
  • Glenn Terrell Presidential Award: a $4,000 award that is open to first-year and transfer students



University of Washington's Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships, and Awards
Amounts: Varies
Deadline: Varies
University of Washington students have a unique resource at their fingertips. This office helps students identify and apply for scholarships, fellowships, and awards. They will help you hone your application to best appeal to the awarding foundations. Since there are so many scholarships available, having a team on your side to help you sort them all out is an enormous advantage that most students do not have. As soon as you receive your admission letter you should reach out to this department and see how you can start your first year with a scholarship or two.